Sunday, May 31, 2009

Airports Customs Control + new counter idea

I am finally back to Berlin from my 6 months stay India and Thailand. Herzlich Wilkommen. German customs officers at Berlin Airport are very diligent in following their orders to stop "smugglers" of duty-free goods ... so my persona apparently raised their professional suspicion (not unjustified!) and i was duly stopped.
They quickly uncovered that i had 10 packs of "illegal" cigarettes hidden in my rucksack.

Anyway, the reason I am writing all that is that those charming custom officers (in Tegel Airport they wear rubber gloves all the time even if they don't perform their anal searches!! oh yes, that makes them look even so scary!) inspired a new idea how to bring more duty-free goods through airport customs.... and legally:

Why not to set up a website where "smokers" for a fee can hire "non-smokers" (passengers of the same flight) to carry their "excess" of duty-free cigarettes safely through the customs?

For example, I know that I am going to fly on a certain date from A to B and I want to buy say 60 packs of duty-free cigarettes, I go to a special website, lets say called, and find 5 passengers on this flight who might be willing to carry 10 packs (the legal amount) of my duty-free load through the airport customs.
Once we pass through the customs control I collect my duty-free ciggs from them and pay say 10€ each "agent" for the service. And everybody is happy (incl. the customs I hope!)

Let's say I know that I am not going to buy any duty-free alcohol, so I can volunteer to be someone's "duty-free agent" as well, carry their excess bottles through and get paid 10€ or smth afterward.
Or, if he/she is not a smoker and carries my ciggs and I carry his/her brandy - then it will be just an exchange of favours with no money involved.

Say there are 200 passengers on the plane with 50/50 ratio of smokers and non-smokers. Here's an opportunity for each non-smoker to earn extra 10€. I think that travelers can volunteer to be "duty-free agents" for any sort of goods sold at duty-free shops (make-up, perfumes, electronics, whatever.)

I also believe that "duty-free agents" website should be a free public service, perhaps sponsored by an alcohol or a tobacco brand?

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